‘Farmers will have the support they need to ensure the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees’ health and safety’
The federal government is investing $945,000 under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to help Prince Edward Island (PEI) farmers better protect the health and safety of farm workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone needs to feel safe and supported when they go to work. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health of all farm workers who are working hard to feed Canadians has been a top priority. With this program, Prince Edward Island farmers will have the support they need to ensure the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees’ health and safety and limit the spread of the virus,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food.
The investment for P.E.I. farmers is based on an estimated 120 farmers applying. Funding will be delivered by the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Land.
Eligible activities include direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters and work stations, temporary or emergency housing (on or off-farm), as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, work stations and any other health and safety measures that safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19.
Applications will be accepted through P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Land website from Oct. 29, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021. Contributions under the program will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants, up to $30,000 per farm operation. An additional 10 per cent will be provided to women, youth, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, and Persons with disabilities, amounting to a 60:40 split as the Government of Canada promotes and empowers underrepresented groups in the agricultural sector.
Farmers seeking to apply for funding must submit an application before January 15, 2021 or submit an expense claim before Feb 15, 2021, by going to PEI Emergency On Farm Support Fund.
“The agriculture community is pleased to see this investment by government in the health and safety of farmers and farm workers. COVID-19 has not slowed down the need for food and our industry wants to ensure we can continue to feed Canadians,” said Ron Maynard, president, P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture.
The Emergency On-Farm Support Fund provides a $35 million investment across Canada to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19.
In August, the government announced a $58.6 million additional investment to the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program to help safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and migrant workers from COVID-19.